There’s no higher pressure than trying to make c-suite level sales. To do it, you need more information, a new plan, and the help of technologies that you might not have considered in the past.
C-Suite Collaboration in the Sales Process
Selling directly to someone in the c-suite is not the same as a typical discovery call and shouldn’t be treated the same. Too many reps treat a c-level meeting the same as any other kind. It’s not.
When the c-suite is involved, you have access to the top rung of the ladder. There’s no need to ask typical discovery questions to get answers on business goals, basic company information, or timelines. Everyone in an organization can answer these questions. You need to ask questions and direct the conversation toward topics that only they know.
These meetings should be more of a conversation discussing pain points, business issues, and the company’s history of buying and adopting technology and their thoughts on it. It’s a chance to learn what they really care about so you can work with them to develop a more custom solution within your own organization’s offering.
This is done by:
- Tailoring Your Message/Offering: You need to tailor your message, pitch, talking points, and other communications to your audience. In this case: a c-suite executive. They don’t talk the same or discuss the same topics as other contacts might. Speak their language and walk their walk.
- Developing a Custom Call-to-Action: The same goes for your chosen CTAs throughout the sales process. Build CTAs that appeal to the c-suite brain that requires forward movement.
- Align Strategic Value: Executives want to make moves and investments that directly lead toward a more desired future and toward business success. This strategic vision needs to align with how your offerings can help get them there. Though it’s important not to mention your product too early, you can segway to it once you’ve established their future vision and pain points to show how you can help bridge the gap between here and there.
- Use Technology to Improve the Process: Make the most of your resources. That means using available technology (discussed in more depth below) to streamline the overall process, make more meaningful connections, and improve their experience in the relationship.
Innovative Technologies to Help Land C-Suite Level Sales
To help facilitate this style of c-suite sales, there are a number of technologies that can lend a hand and make the whole process smoother and more successful.
The benefits of a CRM in sales are abundantly clear at this point in modern business. They help companies to improve customer service, customer satisfaction scores, retention, increase sales numbers, help to generate new business, and make data more accessible.
These are all great things to have, but how does a CRM help when selling to c-suite level executives? It gives you everything you need to stay on top of it all. These large-scale deals can be complex with many meetings, lots of communication avenues, tons of documents, and even more time spent recording information through the process.
A CRM is a one-stop shop to put all this information so you can easily digest and access it. Use the calendar management tools to schedule and track meetings and time between communications, activity reports to show where you are in the process to your own managers, and access to shared customer data to help you understand who you’re selling to and grasp industry trends, business news, and more.
More than 30% of all sales-related activity can be automated to save time. Though you must be careful if you decide that automated follow-up emails are the way to go when selling to a CEO, automation can be used fruitfully in many under-the-hood aspects of the c-suite level sales process.
Data entry, price quotation, post-sale activities like customer service, order management, data collection and analysis, and information management can all be automated to save time doing these manual tasks and spend that time on more meaningful activities.
Communication has been revolutionized in recent years. Reps now have more ways to communicate with their prospects than ever before, meaning authentic conversations can happen at any time and in many different forms.
Reps should utilize as many of them as possible to get ahold of busy c-suite executives and stay top of mind without going overboard. But, these many avenues of communication provide many opportunities for quicker, smaller meetings over time to discuss minor details to supplement typical in-person, larger-scale meetings.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Not directly a technology, but having access to resources like blogs, case studies, whitepapers, videos, infographics, and eBooks, all created in-house at your company with your branding, writing style, and product information, can be a great way to showcase expertise, increase time spent with your brand, and to explain complex topics.
Oftentimes the marketing team is responsible for creating this content to help solve pain points, answer questions, and pose some of their own. But, if you don’t work with an internal or outsourced team of content creators, you might try doing it on your own. In that case, a content management system (CMS) might be necessary to help you write optimized posts, schedule them out, and track key analytics like click-throughs, engagement metrics, and SEO data.
Data Analysis Tools
How does data help when selling to the c-suite? Preparation.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as they say, and people in the c-suite can recognize when you’re talking out the side of your neck and when you’ve done the research to truly understand their business, their industry, and their issues.
No matter the data source, a CRM and other data management tools can help you aggregate it all, analyze it, and identify trends to help you become more prepared for your meetings with high-level personnel who know what they’re talking about and expect you to, also.
How to Implement These Technologies Today
Knowing how to capitalize on technology can be the difference between a big sale and letting a big fish off the hook. Combining the might of a CRM, CMS, communications tools, and sale automation gives you every advantage you need to impress a c-suite level executive during the sales process.
Explore additional tech that you can use to actually bolster revenue with Impact's blog, 5 Technologies That Can Actually Improve Sales Performance.